Letter to a friend who wants to start running

I’ve spoken about this before. When someone says they want to start running, and do you have any tips. Amidst all of the disapproval and gobsmackedness (I just invented that word), someone WANTS to start running, someone wants to hear all about it! That is what we wait for! Well here goes J, just for you:

Walking is not the enemy

Unless you are an elite marathoner, depending on running as an income at all costs, even your health, all runners walk. We don’t often admit it, but it is true. When you start you won’t be able to run far, maybe just a block or two, you will want to stop running and walk. This is not the point where you go home and consider yourself a failure, this is the point where you walk until you feel ready to run for a while again. Walking is a recharge. It is not weakness, it is a strategy. I used to be embarrassed to walk in fun runs, but gradually realised that others who I would pass while they walked, would end up passing me later, because they rested and recharged.

Gradually those walking breaks will get further apart and the runs between them will get longer. Even after running for 5 years, these walking breaks still exist. Especially when you challenge yourself to run further and further, you will need this strategy to achieve this! I will still walk briefly at least three times during a 20km run for example. And when I run my marathon, I will listen to my body when it needs to walk, because if I don’t, I will never make it 42km. You always count the full distance. You consider it 5km even if you walked half of it. The rest will take care of itself!

The right shoes are your best friend

Go to a specialised running store and get fitted for the right shoes for your gait. The “Athlete’s Foot” doesn’t count, they give those jobs to anyone! You can go through your whole life buying sneakers which seem comfortable and are nice colours and not do yourself any damage, until you start running in them, then there will be injuries! There is a Running Company where you live, J. Take your old sneakers with you so they can also see where you have worn them down. Worth the investment.

The first run or first part of a run will always suck the most, too many people don’t move past that to the place where it feels awesome! I still take 3km to really warm up and find my groove. As they say “never trust the first mile, it lies”.

Speed doesn’t matter – just make it fun!

To start out with, along with the walk breaks and the speed you run in between them, it is more important to enjoy yourself than reach any time goals. While running, stay at a speed which feels as comfortable as possible! One day you might want to get faster, or run further than you are used to. Only focus on one of these on a single run, eg. one run go further at a comfortable speed, another run go faster for a comfortable distance. For now, worry about distance first with whatever you need to make that a happy place! Music, pretty running tops, nice scenery (you have plenty of that, wish I started running when I lived there), whatever works!

The calories!

I don’t know if this applies to you, but it is one lesson I learnt the hard way! I lost a lot of weight when I started running, then when I increased my distance I increased my diet more and put it all back on, despite the fact I had never been running as much. This is actually really common in runners, that we overestimate how many calories we have burnt. Running makes you REALLY hungry and it is far too easy to say “hey, I just ran 10km, I deserve a big mac”, “vanilla slice” (in my case). On the other hand don’t cut out any food groups, you need the fuel for the run!


There is a big fad in “streaking”, running every single day. I believe that this creates a high risk of injury. I believe in leaving at least a day between for your body to recover. If you get sore, go for a walk or swim or bike ride the day in between and you will actually feel looser for it.

I think this covers the most important things that I wish I knew when I started! I hope you get something out of it, and I can’t wait to share your journey with you!! YAY!

2015 – The year of the fear (in a good way)

I am terrified. And I love it!!

This is what it is all about. In real life I avoid that which makes me nervous. I am a coward. The first time I committed to a half marathon, I have never been so scared in my life. It was thrilling, it was exhilarating. I couldn’t sleep. But it wasn’t a bad fear, it was like that space between lots of coffee and too much coffee. Like that place between lots of deep breaths and feeling faint. Almost as good as it gets, before it turns to bad!

Last year I played it safe, I didn’t run any distances I hadn’t covered before. I didn’t get nervous before races, excited yeah but not terrified. And I’ll be honest, it was kind of boring. I miss that! Who knew that such a play-it-safe kinda chick, could turn into such a daredevil. I don’t want to be comfortable any more. I want to be shitting my pants! I want to not be able to breathe! I want to be breaking out in a cold sweat every time I forget for a second and then remember what I have signed up to.

And now I am finally back there again. Two days until I run a very hilly 23km at the Great Ocean Road Marathon festival. I know, I know it’s not much further than I have ran before but it promises to be more a lot more challenging. And what is most exciting about it is that it marks the official start of the training for my first full marathon in October. 2015 is the year of the fear – BRING IT ON!

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Happy Happy Joy Joy

I can’t keep it in: the beginning and end of running

On the weekend I caught up with Gina. We’ve never known each other well, we were introduced by our mutual non-running friends in a way that went along the lines of “she runs too”. Guess they thought we’d have an instant connection. They were right, we did. We would catch up regularly at these same mutual friends’ get togethers and talk about running for hours on end. Last time I saw her she hadn’t run for a few months but missed it, wanted to get back into it. This time she told me she had given up running. Decided she’d had enough. I think she had just exhausted herself for feeling bad about not fitting it into her life and gave up.

Gina has new love, a big diamond, a new house. I said good on her. I said she has plenty of good things going on in her life, as long as she is happy. What I actually wanted to say was: “don’t you remember how good it made you feel?” and “that’s ok you can always go back to it when the honeymoon period is over”. Suddenly we had nothing else to talk about.

Do you ever feel like running is a religion? Don’t you ever feel like someone who has “found” running the way that people “find” Jesus, that then you believe that everyone should run. Not as some sort of moral obligation but because it can save you, make you whole, bring you to peace with the Universe. It’s uncomfortable to try to keep it in and pretend you don’t think it is the most wonderful thing you can do with your life.

At the other end of the spectrum a shop assistant at the supermarket the other day told me that she had gone out and ran 2.5km (1.5 miles) on the weekend, just like that. She thought it was a shameful distance. I was so proud I wanted to cry and lurch over the counter and hug her. I truly believe that if someone has the mental fortitude to keep going for that distance with no running background that she has been chosen by the running gods, she has what it takes to run any distance she sets her mind to!! I am glad that my trolley-full of groceries had completed it’s journey over the conveyer belt and into bags by this point as a dam of speaking in running tongues was about to burst. I went home and though to myself “now she needs a spibelt” and “she needs to be told to not worry about increasing distance and decreasing pace in the same run” and a million other things. And she isn’t even a friend! She told me she will use me as her inspiration. What a beautiful compliment. I may be a part of bringing someone into the fold in a small way.

The start of the running journey is what I would much rather witness than the end!

Huaraches: Running in flip-flops

I don’t think I am the only runner to look at people’s shoes at big running events. Mine are often the dirtiest. I look for my own kind of shoes, note the proportion of the different brands (eg. Asics vs Nike) and I look for the different. The first time I saw Hokas I tried not the judge. I thought the wearer was a new runner who was wearing those rocking walking shoes. We all start out in impractical running attire, and after chafing or overheating and increasing our commitment to running we start investing in clothing designed for running. ‘Good on him’, I thought. I still only see Hokas occasionally but they seem to have a steady presence in the world of the running mum blogger.

On the weekend at the Melbourne Marathon Festival, I saw something new at the other end of the very fierce and enduring super supportive vs barefoot running debate. I learn now they call them ‘huaraches’, and they look a lot like flip flops, or what Aussies would call ‘thongs’. I could tell immediately by the look of the wearer that he was no new runner. I personally am in no hurry to take any risks with my fussy feet right now, but I had to find out what they are all about.

They were modeled off shoes handmade from old tyre treads by the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, who are often considered the inventors of the ultra marathon.

My first thought was how nice it would be to have air on my feet, who doesn’t love to put on their thongs in summer and let their toes hang out? My second thought was how long could they last? I literally wear the soles completely off my Nikes. Luna Sandals estimates they should last 500 miles, while Xero Shoes offer a 5,000 mile warranty!

The huaraches biggest advocate seems to be “Barefoot Ted” a very respected man in the running world but my quick Google search revealed that it is still currently much easier to find sceptical reviews of huaraches than loyal fans.

So they’ve actually been around for a while, but this was my eighth run of over 30,000 participants and the first I’ve seen huaraches which tells me they haven’t caught on hugely in the middle distance running scene. The question is: will they? I’d love to hear your opinion.

Some huarache reviews:





Reasons to run your Doctor won’t tell you…

“Run and you’ll lose weight….blah, blah, blah”.

I put on 20kg while I trained for my first half marathon. The more I ran, the hungrier I was and the more I felt I god damn deserved that vanilla slice! I could still easily exceed energy out with energy in. If I only ran to lose weight, I probably would have stopped then. Basing a desire to run solely on weight loss is like assuming that the love of your life will always buy you flowers and open doors for you. If that’s what gets you started then awesome! But at some point you move onto something much less fragile and more real than flowers, or in this case, a number on the scales.

So what other reasons are there to run?

You can be an addict and not have anyone say you need to quit or need help. There will be no intervention. They will say you are crazy. But that’s a compliment.

You can be dirty, sweaty, smelly with bad hair and no make-up and proud of it.

belmont toilet block selfie

You can spend $200+ on shoes and get at least 1km for every 50 cents (unlike heels).

You can have awesomely tanned legs and shoulders (never mind the white feet)!

You can tell people you are a runner. When questioned about what you “do”, you know there is always judgment, a need to justify, explain. As soon as you say you are a runner, they either shut up or know you are a super woman or both.

Closely related to the above, you belong to a worldwide group of runners. Real runners never judge. We don’t care what else you “do”. If you run, you are one of us.

You can bore your Facebook friends with running posts. They’ll stop liking and commenting but when asked to define or introduce you… “oh, she’s a runner.” (WIN!!)

You can change your whole outfit every time you get new shoes, because the newest Nikes are a different colour, and naturally you need your outfit the match the shoes!

You can use long words like Plantar Fasciitis. You can use such terms to get out of things you don’t want to do (like pole dancing hen’s night with cousin Annoying) but not tell them it doesn’t actually stop you from running.

You god damn deserve that vanilla slice!

Running: what’s not to love?

Me at the Sydney Running Festival, JOY!!

Me at the Sydney Running Festival, JOY!!

From the time I first decided on the treadmill at the gym to see if I could run 1 kilometer and did it, I was hooked. I was hooked on seeing how far I could go and still believed that somewhere there was a limit. I had a new addiction to the feeling of success and the growing hope that perhaps anything is possible. Perhaps I could make my mind master over my body.

After working my way up to 10 kilometers I reached that dangerous point where the ‘dreadmill’ almost stifled this new love of mine. He taught me some things, gave me some confidence, but I was done with what he could offer me. It was time to take it outside. It was time to move on from the taker of my running virginity, to bigger and better things! Outside offered so much more potential for a lasting relationship.

The feeling. I loved the feeling of the wind in my hair and the sun on my shoulders. Instead of four walls of sweaty bodies at the gym I could smile at sparkling cobwebs in trees, float through flashing dappled shade as the sun shone off the river and the birds sang. I could relate to the happy running dogs I saw with their ears flopping up and down and their faces saying “life is wonderful, I am so lucky”. Absolute freedom, empowerment, wonder, gratitude. That is the feeling of endorphins. The ultimate drug, a religious experience, at complete peace with the universe.

The absolute tune out. There was no button to press to stop at any moment I started to feel fatigued. I could forget about stopping when my car was several kilometers away and run through to my next high. I learnt to anticipate and savour that wonderful moment when I feel powerful and all my stresses feel smaller. In this moment I discovered I could do anything I set my mind to. There is no limit, except what I determine to achieve—in running and in life.

The running identity. I know what kind of people runners are and I am proud to belong to this group. I feel more myself in my running clothes, I would stay in them all the time if possible. When I do fun runs with up to 35 thousand other runners I feel more of a connection with these strangers than any other group. We are amazing, diverse, accepting, strong and determined people. Thank you for letting me into your world!

Offending the Runner

Father’s day brought about a situation in which I am generally not comfortable, dinner with the in-laws. My father in-law, we’ll call him Graham has no self-censorship, if he thinks I have put on weight, should get a job, should dust my house, or that I should volunteer to wash the dishes after Christmas dinner because that’s a woman’s job, he spits it right out. I was polite to him for many years for the sake of my dear mother in law, she is now sadly gone. Those days are over.

For Graham sports are everything. With four sons, sports gave him something to be proud of in his offspring, the one who didn’t play sports was/is barely acknowledged let alone praised. My husband says to me, at least you have something to talk about with him now: running. Sounds good in theory.

Graham used to be a runner. He took it up at the age of 30, ran marathons, and moved onto lawn bowls, and coaching football (and everyone else’s lives) after he felt his knees had had enough about 10 years later. That was over 20 years ago now.

Sitting there waiting for our dinner he began to ridicule a runner he had seen running on his toes. I am pretty sure steam started coming out of my ears. First of all, what right does a non-runner have to ridicule anyone who is out there running? I immediately chimed in with the fact that these days, “heel-striking” is seen as a bad thing. He said that sprinters should run on their toes, distance runners should land on their heels. I told him there are now shoes designed (Newton’s is it?) to train the distance runner to land on their toes. What would he know about shoes? He probably ran in dunlops.

Next he tried to tell me that coconut water is the newest sports drink for runners. Actually, coconut water is a celebrity fad. Probably great for waifs who want to lose weight quickly but who don’t need fuel for exercise. I read an article in Runners World Australia recently about coconut water as a sports drink. It contains good amounts of some needed nutrients but insufficient electrolytes for distance running. I am not trying to educate you here. I was making the point to him and myself that I am a runner, more of a runner than someone who hasn’t run for 20 years, and I know some stuff! OK?

Running is what I am most proud of in my life right now. I have worked hard for four years, I have learnt from experience, from other runners, and from running magazines. He made me feel as if I had just put my shoes on yesterday and decided to run out my front door, and needed his outdated (if every relevant) expertise. I learnt that day, that there is little that can offend me more right now than someone assuming I am not a ‘runner’. Perhaps running could have been a common ground, if it wasn’t assumed I he knew everything and I knew nothing.

You just wait Graham, until the day when you see me in my running clothes with my grotesque calves, KT tape up the back of my ankles, a wicked razor back tan line, hair stuck to my neck. You just wait. I guess I also learnt from this that this is why I am more comfortable in my running clothes than anything else, because they represent my identity more appropriately than anything else I wear. Don’t you dare call me anything other than a runner!

Who knew Twitter would be a different experience?

As you may know, I began this blogging journey as a university assignment. “Blogging is a social endeavour” they told us. “Blogging is done as part of a community” they said.

I had followed a few runners on facebook. I liked them immensely (I unfollowed the ones I didn’t). But I didn’t really think I was like them. I liked reading their posts, but I didn’t feel part of their group. On facebook it felt like there were the mentors, giving lengthy accounts, showing their running outfits and sometimes promoting products and running competitions. I hope you understand I loved being the observer, but it didn’t feel like me. I am not the mentor, but I am not quite a newbie either.

This week I discovered Twitter. I didn’t quite understand it at first. Then in my recent boredom with facebook and inability to DO anything with my facebook page on my phone app, I started to invest myself into twitter. A week later I have 52 followers.

Twitter feels different. It doesn’t feel like there are the mentors and the protégé’s. It feels like we are one group. I feel like I am a part of the group, and I had underestimated how great that would feel! On twitter it feels like we are all in one space, we are all running together, we all teach each other different things and bring smiles to each other’s faces. How could one person, (or 52) clicking on a screen on the other side of the world, make me feel more complete somehow? I didn’t think I was incomplete before hand, but I must find a gap where I can wedge in this little slice of joy!

Thanks to all who follow. To those who don’t: I am @gigglerunner

See you there!

Unconscious Running: Dreaming about Run 4 The Kids

My favourite kind of run is the unconscious run. I think I have my eyes open at the time. I often go through a period of unconsciousness, after the first 2 or 3 km (1.2 to 1.8 miles), and up until the last 2 or 3 km. It is hard though when you usually run the same route, and your mind can’t help but track where you are, how many k’s you have run and how many you have left. Too often running day dreams are interrupted by reality: by the need to pee, the need to have a drink, the need to loosen a shoelace when my feet swell or check that my car keys are still in my belt.

Once in a blue moon I manage to stay in the euphoria for the whole run, start to finish. Friday was one of those runs.

I am two weeks out from the second attempt of my favourite fun run of them all —run 4 kids in Melbourne. I had just received my run4k shirt in the mail, often race shirts are not great, too short in the body, bad colours, too much advertising! This one is the bomb! Last years actually converted me to Nike tops. I now have 4 of that particular design (Nike ‘miler’ tank), but this one is special because of its associations. Thought it was only right to wear it a few times before the big day.

As soon as I put the shirt on I felt excited. I dropped the kids at school and impatiently meandered through all the school traffic, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel to songs I wouldn’t normally enjoy. My destination could not come soon enough. Goose bumps attacked as I finally parked down by the river.

I normally walk for around 500 metres (0.3 mile) while I find my music, warm up and decide if my shoes are tied not too loose and not too tight (yes this is an issue of mine). This time as soon as I put my first song on, I couldn’t stop myself from running. It was I Could be the One by Avicii. This is my run 4 the kids song. It was new this time last year, and it was third on my playlist, reaching my ears as I run through the Domain tunnel, one of the once in a lifetime, normally non-pedestrian locations the race includes. Running on my own along a shadowy path, all the feelings of that day (March 17th 2013) came back to me. I felt the desire to throw my arms out, but I would probably behead a passing cyclist. Today the weather was just perfect, 17 degrees (or 62 farenheit) and cloudy…and this was the last thought I gave to the present moment for the rest of my run.

This time last year I had only run the race distance of 15km (9.3 miles) twice. I had that amazing feeling of terror and exhilaration at the same time. Z signed me up for it as I was coming out of an undefined foot injury (I didn’t risk going to the doctor, in case he used the dreaded R word). At that point 10km (6.2 miles) was the longest I had ever run. At that point I still believed that there may be a limit to how far I could run! Now I know I can run any distance I decide to and train for. Z pushed me into that realisation, otherwise I may have always stayed in my comfort zone and missed out on so much. I repaid the favour by suggesting our first half marathon after that (Run Melbourne).

It is amazing to think of how far you have come. Do you remember when you thought you couldn’t run at all? Do you remember when 5km (3.1 miles) was a long way to run? It always amazes me to reflect on this.

Not only was run4k a new distance for me, it was my first fun run in Melbourne, meaning my first really big run amongst tens of thousands of other runners. I remember tears coming to my eyes as I finally broke into a jog after a long wait at the starting line, and yelled good luck to Z before she disappeared. I passed Steve Monaghetti (famous Australian distance runner) who was chairing the occasion. One of those moments when you think, “Wow, I am really a runner!”. Self pride, something we don’t often afford enough ourselves in this life.

I remember the eclectic range of shirts other runners wore. Many were there for very personal reasons. Raising money for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or “In memory of…” above a picture of a baby. Emotion again! I had to feel respect for every single person in that breathtaking snake of sweaty human bodies. A blind runner with his guide, attached at the hand by what looked like a large rubber band. This was a group of people, every single one of them, who I could afford nothing but respect. What an honor to be there together! There was no feeling of competition, just camaraderie. We were all there to improve somebody’s life, whether that be our own, or someone else’s.

I had to stop and take a photo on the top of the Balti Bridge. I wanted to capture every minute of this run. I had to try to hang onto it. It just felt too good to be true, too good to be a feeling I could experience many times over – which I have since then.

Yes I have done plenty of fun runs since that one, but this one will always have a special place in my heart. I can only hope it will be just as magical this time around, even 10% less due to a repeat performance would still be incredible. And I will have no trouble beating my time, I am so much readier, and I don’t have to stop and take photos this time! This time I know the memories in my heart will be more bright and vivid than any image in my iphone!

The loser wins

I wouldn’t any longer call myself a ‘new’ runner, really. This was my eighth fun run. I used to get severely nervous the day and night before events. At first just because they were events, then because I was attempting new distances, 15 and 21 km. Now I just get excited beforehand, not nervous.

This was a different kind of run. As opposed to runs in Melbourne, this was a small seaside town. Z had done this one before, I’d never even been there before. It was only 10km, that’s my default easy training run distance. The perfect length of time for the duration of my running playlist. I thought it would be a run in the park. Z said it was hilly, really hilly. She had called this run her nemesis, but she would stop herself saying any more. She didn’t want to scare me. I wasn’t scared….I actually should have been.

Standing at the starting line the crowd of only 600 was cosy. I could see the front and the end of the group. New experience, I usually do fun runs with at least 10,000 others. I wondered how many of the runners lived there, how many went there every year to camp over the school holidays, and if there were any others like us who had driven to distances to get there that morning. I thought we were probably the minority in that way. Z crammed down two energy gels in a row. I had never seen her take more than one at once. This did concern me slightly. Perhaps this really was serious.

And we were off. We began with a long climb, I felt good. I lost sight of Z half way up, she was on a mission to beat this beast. I got to the top and thought “that wasn’t that bad, but some flat would be nice now before the next hill..”. Then it was a big down hill, immediately followed by another hill. The crowd began to thin as it spread. I was in no hurry, I never am. I set my own pace, and usually that pace is comparatively ok. I expect at the start of a race, many zoom past me, especially the young and overconfident, and sometimes I pass them later when they have burnt out and are walking. That is all fine, I am there for fun, not really to race.

I have an odd relationship with hills. I don’t mind one or two as part of my long runs in my home town. I don’t seek them out, but when they are in my way, they are almost a rush. Then it is a relief to reach the top and flatten out, catch my breath again, find my easy rhythm again. I prefer uphills to downhills, downhills are awkward. I always remember when I was a child, unafraid or unable to be injured running as fast as possible down hills. Those days are gone. Things almost hurt. I would rather run than walk up a hill, but I would rather walk than run down it.

These hills did not end. There was no flat at the top of them, and no flat at the bottom of them. There was no time to look around and enjoy scenery (assuming there was some, I really don’t know). I was too busy undulating between using my arms to get up a hill and grimacing trying not to turn into a wheel of cheese going down the other side. There was still a thick group of runners ahead of me at around 4km. I wasn’t sure how many there were behind me. I decided to have a stretch at the drink station. Hard enough to drink while running on flat, I figured I deserved to let myself do one at a time under the circumstances. I looked back as I stood there, a young girl carrying a water bottle who I had just passed turned around and walked back in the other direction, and an older man sat down on a curb. A car stopped to pick him up, I kept going.

Normally I am all about the joy but for the first time since the final kilometres of my first half marathon, I became all about just getting through it. I could no longer see anyone in front of me, I constantly waited for marshalls to reassure me I was even still on the course. I must have looked as if in pain, they became reassuring in an exaggerated, parent to child type of way.

I crossed a little wooden bridge, I looked up and realised this really was a beautiful place, I would be enjoying the scenery if I wasn’t so busy trying to stay alive! A man about 10 years older than myself passed me. He was the last other competitor that I saw. After the 6km drink station and the extra sweet old ladies cheering me on, the L word began to echo around in my head. Is it possible? Am I…last?

A white ute with two men in it drove beside me and got my attention. I recognised it from earlier, picking up the man on the curb. I begrudgingly took my earphone out, I knew what they were going to say. “Are you alright? Do you want to continue?” I tried to portray a smile and gave them the thumbs up. As I ran from that point, I could hear the motor behind me. Crawling along. I could feel the eyes of those two men, wishing I would give up so they could go home. I knew they would be criticising me for going slower down the hills than up. “What is she doing, that crazy woman? That’s your chance to make up some time, stupid lady!” For the first time ever in a fun run, I felt under pressure. They asked me another 2 times before the end of the race. By the last time I’m sure they would have gathered from my tense reply that their question was not welcome. After all, there was no time limit on the course. I certainly knew they were behind me, and could have flagged them down if I wanted a ride to the finish. I wished I didn’t know that they were there.

By the time I came to the last kilometre I was amidst runners from another distance event. I didn’t have to feel self conscious running through the finishing arch. Z asked me how I went. “That sucked!” I concluded I would rather run a flat half marathon any day over 10km of ALL hills!

So what did it feel like to come last? Well it didn’t feel good. The stigma of the word ‘last’ hung over me for the long drive home. Z now admitted all the things that she wanted to tell me beforehand but didn’t want to discourage me. She told me that it is the kind of run that can break your spirit. Well I didn’t feel completely broken but I did feel a little bit emotionally injured. On the other hand I felt proud that I kept going, despite the fact that I had never, ever, as badly wanted to give up. I even had the safety car asking me if I wanted to stop, like the devil on my shoulder. And I beat those imaginary and real voices and kept going. I had never before had such an opportunity to prove to myself the power of my own will.

When the statistics came online, I continued to change my perspective to a positive one. My time was half of the time it took me to run a half marathon, so I wasn’t actually that slow, there was just a lot of fast people there. All of the other finishers knew what they were up for, entering only if they were extremely adept at hills. Or if they weren’t, entered the 5km race instead. Z pointed out that my race time would have been median for a Melbourne fun run. This one also wasn’t for any charity. The Melbourne runs I have done are always for some kind of charity. This means that people enter distances beyond their abilities, challenge themselves, because they aren’t there for themselves, and are not ashamed to stop and walk, they are just determined to finish it.

Apart from the finishers, there were 60 entrants who did not finish. And I was not one of them. There were many more behind me for the first few kms, who turned back. I was not one of them. I didn’t turn back. I didn’t give up. I kept going, even when I became aware of being dead last. And so…I finally came around to realising that I won. I won against myself. I didn’t have as much fun doing that run as I usually do, but I learnt a lot from the experience. Maybe, just maybe like Z, I will return one day and tame that beast, just to prove that it did not defeat me.

Thanks for reading🙂 A.